Mesa County residents now have access to free rapid home tests for COVID-19 in Grand Junction.

While COVID numbers are declining in Mesa County, the virus is still active which is why this is good news. As many people know, getting tests results quickly - or at the very least in a timely manner, has been problematic in recent months.

My Disappointing Experience With COVID Testing

A few weeks ago, I began experiencing symptoms after having close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. Immediately, I went to the Mesa County testing site at the fairgrounds - but getting the results back was a challenge. I self-quarantined during the waiting period - which they said would be four days or less.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting......

There were indications that I would be contacted about my results - but that didn't happen. After four days of not hearing anything, I called the number that was provided - and within a few minutes, I was told my test was negative.  I was extremely thankful for the negative test, and I did not regret quarantining during the waiting period, but I was a bit irked by both the long process of being tested and waiting for results and by the fact that I was not contacted - as promised - with the results.

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The Problem Was Not With Mesa County

Let me be clear, the problem has nothing to do with Mesa County Public Health. The tests that are given in Mesa County have to be sent to a lab across the country that is tasked with processing thousands of COVID tests on an on-going basis. In my case, I was able to surmise that the lab was in North Carolina. It was disappointing to me that free rapid home tests were not more readily available and easily accessible to the general public.

All of that to say this. Having access to a rapid test is really a fortunate thing for Mesa County residents. You may never need it - but, if you do start experiencing symptoms, it's nice to have a test at your fingertips that produces reasonably reliable results in 15 minutes.

Latest COVID Numbers in Mesa County

As of Tuesday, according to the Mesa County Public Health data dashboard, there were 53 new COVID cases in the county, with a total of 29 hospitalizations. There have been 9 COVID deaths in the past two weeks.

How To Get Your Free Rapid Home Test

The rapid-test kits for COVID-19 are available for pickup during regular business hours at the Health and Human Services building at 510 29 1/2 Road. Residents can pick up two test kits, and each kit contains two tests.

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